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GalwayFest 2012 Safety Statement:

Freestyle Event:

Organisers: Andrew Regan (0870643727) and Barry Loughnane (0860613427)

Time and date: Saturday 21st of January 2012 meeting at event location at 11am. Briefing at 11.30am.

Venue: Tuam Hole, Ballygaddy Road, Tuam with a contingency for the Saltlake Tidal Rapid, Ballyconneely Road, Clifden. The ideal option is Tuam Hole, but as it’s dependant on rainfall, there is a contingency plan for the Saltlake rapid in Clifden.

Safety on the Water: Both locations are Grade II features based on Grade I water. Competitors will be advised in the briefing before the event inherent dangers which go along with the freestyle static sites (trees, rocks, cold, water borne diseases, slips and falls).. Two safety boaters will be present below the feature to assist any competitors that capsize in re-entering their kayak, or exiting the water if necessary. A first aid station will be set up in the area with qualified REC technicians present to administer the first aid.

Minimum equipment needed: ICU approved helmet and buoyancy aid,as well as sufficient protection against the cold, e.g wetsuit or drysuit. Visual check at briefing before event. (A kayak would also be useful :-) )

Nearest Hospital: University College Hospital Galway, Tuam 30 mins, Clifden 70 mins.

Traffic Management:

Tuam: Provisions for parking have been made across the road from the petrol station at the access point. Access to the feature will be from upstream of the feature only, which will be pointed out to you at the briefing.

Clifden: Are in process of being made in the public area in front of Clifden Community College. Please ensure no gates are blocked. Please note this is the only spot you may park and where the briefing will take place. Access to the saltlake is across the road where the feature is about a 5 minute paddle away. A safety station will be set up by Remote Emergency Care 3 stewards to assist any minor injuries. (Still got your attention? Good keep reading)

Spectators and Judges: Access has been granted for the river right bank

Whitewater Event:

Race Controllers: Andrew Regan (0870643727) & Barry Loughnane (0860613427)

Time & Date: Sunday the 22nd of January. Meeting at event location at 9.30am. Briefing in gear will be at 10am.

Venue: The Boluisce River, Spiddal Coming from galway take the first left once you come into Spiddeal town this leads to a car park beside the sea where you will be leaving your vehicles.

Requirements: A Level 3 profiency certificate. If you are not in possession of one of these the only way you can compete is if you are signed off by a Level 3 Instructor stating that you have the required skill level to compete. A waiver/disclaimer must be signed by all, if you are under 18 this waiver/disclaimer must also be signed by a parent/guardian. These are strict requirements.

Nearest Hospital: University College Hospital Galway, 25 mins

Equipment: Only mass-produced plastic whitewater kayaks of serial production with a length of less than 270cm will be allowed to race. Race Controllers reserve the right to refuse certain types of kayaks from being used. Please ensure;


Individual racers in 3 separate classes (Mens Senior/ Mens Junior and Womens) will race down the whitewater course in a time trial which consists of Grade II (gently moving) water separated by 3 rapids of Grade III (moderate difficulty). The section is 1km long. It will start by launching from the footbridge and end at the footbridge (beyond the road bridge) at Poll Gorm hole. One minute will be between each competitor. They must then give their name to the time keeper at Poll Gorm once finished.

After this (time dependant), the top 6 competitors scores will go through to a head to head race or boater cross into super finale. Whether a boatercross in the other classes will take place depends on numbers and ability of competitors.

Access: Has been provided by the owners of the caravan park. Shuttles of boats and people to the get in from the car park at the pier will be organised to get people from the top to bottom of the river. We ask that you do not block any entrances in the area.

Spectator Safety & Crowd Control:

The spectator area will only be at the public pathways, and bridges over the river in Spiddal village. No part of the river bank will be accessible to spectators throughout the race.

The spectator will allow space for members of the public to pass by unhindered by the event. The event organiser and stewards appointed by him/her will oversee this.

First Aid:

Minor First Aid will be provided by a safety station manned by Remote Emergency Care 3 technicians at Poll Gorm. There will also be an Ambulance present at Poll Gorm the end of the race course. Every safety team on the river will be in possession of a First Aid kit at each of the three rapid locations.

Safety on the River:

The competitors will be split into two separate groups at the briefing. Group A and Group B. Each group will provide safety for the other on the River. Group A will provide safety for Group B first and will travel to the get on first. They will be assigned into different teams with a team leader who is very familiar with the river. The team leader will be briefed as to his/her area of the river to set up safety they will be an of an ICU level 4 standard. The race controllers Barry Loughnane and Andrew Regan will have constant contact with the team leaders through mobile phones which each will be required to carry. People who are qualified to do bank or boat safety is at the Race Controllers discretion on the day.

Injuries and Evacuation Plan:

Footbridge- Evac through Caravan park at get in (river left)

Rock Garden- Evac to road river left.

Broken Weir- Evac to road river left

Poll Gorm- Ambulance crew location

Minor injuries to competitors will be classified as: Cold, cuts, bangs, bruises

Major injuries will be classified as: Hypothermia, head injuries, uncontrollable bleeding, unconciousness. Immediate evacuation should be arranged for any major category injuries. The race controllers and ambulance will be contacted.


Rock Garden:

As the name suggests lots of rocks, right hand line strongly recommended, follow the main flow of the river.


Broken Weir:

River wide weir on the river, broken on the left hand side (main flow). Can be crossed safely at any point. There will a marked change on the riverbank, with lots of trees on either side.

Further down river 400m you must follow the river left away from the I-beam going accross the river. This will be indicated by  safety boaters.


Poll Gorm:

Can be scouted before the race and is strongly recommended. A 90 deg right turn is required after the road bridge in Spiddal village. There will be safety boaters immediately after the road bridge to remind you to move right. Hit the fish counter hole straight on with speed as a surf in this will result in a swim. Once past the hole angle your boat to the right and paddle into the hole under the bridge to the right of the rock.  Race finishes when you pass through this hole under the footbridge at Poll Gorm.

Congratulations on reading! Now hopefully you know the craic. Confused about something email otherwise we are going to assume everybody will know whats going to be happening. Thanks Folks!